This post is about Laura Ingraham. So why do I have Hugh Hewitt's latest book pictured at left? Because Hugh's approach to politics is that of a conservative Republican like me. A party man who votes in every election for "the most conservative candidate who can win." He thinks strategically.
That approach stands in stark contrast to the "tantrum style" of politics that Laura Ingraham seems to embody these days. It goes like this: "I currently happen to be a Republican, but I'm a conservative first, and I will loudly and persistently attack and ridicule the GOP and its leaders in a heartbeat the second I think they are straying from what I consider to be true conservative principles."
You may be wondering what has me so aroused. It's this: I just came in from my morning workout, which included 45 minutes of listening to Laura Ingraham rant about illegal immigration. I enjoy Laura's show half the time; the rest of the time her message simply grates. My biggest problem with her show (aside from the constant ridicule of anyone who disagrees with her) is the vicious manner in which she attacks her political allies when they stray from what she considers to be the "true" conservative position on any issue.
Today Laura's "Lie of The Day" award was given to . . . President Bush.
I am not kidding. The supposed "lie" was that the president said, in a speech, that "you cannot strengthen border enforcement without a guest worker program," or words to that effect. Now, I'm not sure I agree with that statement, but is not a lie. Besides, Bush is the Republican President of the United States and the leader of the party that is the only credible vehicle for the policies Ms. Ingraham hopes to see implemented.
That was followed by a long rant about how the president and the GOP do not listen to the "majority of Americans" (meaning Americans who agree with her, which is certainly not a majority of the body politic) and that Republican party leaders basically spit on those who got them elected (or words to that effect). She came very close to urging her conservative listeners to stay home during this fall's elections.
Laura raised Harriet Miers and the Dubai Ports deal as examples of Republican betrayals of conservatives. Excuse me, but the president changed his mind on both issues. Conservatives won. Is that supposed to be an example of Bush dismissing his base? Is Laura's real concern that Bush even attempted such actions? How dare he!
Now back to Hugh Hewitt, and the most telling moment of today's Ingraham show. It came during Laura's interview of Hugh, who is plugging Painting the Map Red. The two of them had a lengthy discussion of the illegal immigration issue, on which they seem to be in full agreement. Then Laura began to rant about how the president and many Republicans are wrong on the issue, are disrespecting their base, etc.
Hugh said, "Let me ask you a question. Will we ever get the right policy if a Democrat is elected president, or the Democrats take over Congress?" (Or, yes, words to that effect.)
There followed a rare moment of Laura Ingraham speechlessness. She had no answer, and to me her greatest shortcoming as a conservative voice was exposed: She steadfastly plays to her audience and really has no answers on the complex issues of the day; in fact, she is most effective when she is against something.
Which is why, more and more, I find myself listening to music during my morning run, and occasionally even to NPR. I detest NPR's blithe liberal bias, but at least the content there is usually interesting, and unlike Laura, the folks at NPR seem to try to be responsible in the message they convey to their listeners.
Read Hugh's book. You'll get a lot more out of it than you'll get out of listening to daily tantrums on Laura Ingraham's show.